Welcome to the Holistic Hen - Sharing Experiences Raising Organic Chickens, Quail & Pigeons

Organically raised chickens, quail, fantail pigeons and the occasional guest poultry all living in 1000m2 of organic forest garden. The following articles attempt to look at the poultry's view of life in the backyard and to observe and share how they thrive and survive in the environment we created for them. On the occasions when I need to intervene, I do so with a holistic approach to the bird as an individual and also to infer from the situation what this tells me about the general health, happiness and dynamics of the flock. I look at stress management and show how to use nutrition and phytotherapy for both prevention and cure of various conditions. These articles are on-going, they occur either as they happen to us or because someone has asked me for help with their birds and thus to share what I have learned from the experience. Below you will find links to my latest article and my latest YouTube video


Chicken Speak 3 - The Food of Love - How Poultry Express Emotion Through Food

"If music be the food of love play on,

 Give me excess of it:..."

 Twelfth Night or What You Will
 Act 1, Scene 1

Duke Orsino's reference may fit his mood but I have never found chickens to be particularly swayed by music, particularly my singing. I have however, reasoned over the years that food is the food of love for our birds. Below, Lucky and Co take a postprandial siesta.

Poultry expressing emotion through food

For over two decades I’ve been observing the poultry in the garden and noting the marked changes in behaviour and language.....To support and provide some ‘academic’ weight to my ideas about what has happened to my birds and how they have changed over the years, I study all the fieldwork and research I can find on the various forms of my poultry’s wild cousins, the Jungle fowl.....read more



Raising Quail Organically With a Mother Hen - Choosing the Hen & Making the Nest"

The third in this series and a breathing space before we get to the really difficult part - The Hatch and beyond.